Consequently, the weight of a shot will decrease, and will become reduced to zero at the instant that the attraction of the moon exactly counterpoises that of the earth; that is to say at 47/52 of its passage.
-- The moon does not describe a circle round the earth, but rather an ellipse , of which our earth occupies one of the foci ; the consequence, therefore, is, that at certain times it approaches nearer to, and at others it recedes farther from, the earth; in astronomical language, it is at one time in
In point of fact, in its apogee the moon is 247,552 miles, and in its perigee, 218,657 miles only distant; a fact which makes a difference of 28,895 miles, or more than one-ninth of the entire distance.
in reaching the point where the attraction of the earth and moon will be in equilibrio .
before the arrival of the moon at the point aimed at.
But an unforeseen circumstance, viz., the detonation produced by the Columbiad, had the immediate effect of troubling the terrestrial atmosphere, by accumulating a large quantity of vapor, a phenomenon which excited universal indignation, for the moon was hidden from the eyes of the watchers for several nights.
Belfast, director of the Cambridge Observatory, and reached the station of Long's Peak, where the telescope was erected which brought the moon within an apparent distance of two leagues.
Indeed it was thought that all observations would have to be put off to the 3d of January in the following year; for the moon entering its last quarter on the 11th, would then only present an ever-decreasing portion of her disc, insufficient to allow of their following the course of the projectile.
At length, to the general satisfaction, a heavy storm cleared the atmosphere on the night of the 11th and 12th of December, and the moon, with half-illuminated disc, was plainly to be seen upon the black sky.
That would be the dearest thing to me"--thus doth the seduced one seduce himself,--"to love the earth as the moon loveth it, and with the eye only to feel its beauty.
But I came NIGH unto you: then came to me the day,--and now cometh it to you,--at an end is the moon's love affair!
The moon is stronger than man who looks on her, nor can she vary in her courses."
Yet I tell you that to-morrow night, about two hours before midnight, we will cause the moon to be eaten up for a space of an hour and half an hour.
"I hear, my lord, but it is a wonderful thing that ye promise, to put out the moon, the mother of the world, when she is at her full."
"Then let my lords darken the moon, and save the maiden's life, and the people will believe indeed."